aka Georgia Guitar Legend, Slim Gordon













Curly James Weaver is perhaps one of the least appreciated of the great Piedmont blues singer/guitarists, generally overshadowed by his  contemporary, long term frequent partner and friend, 'Blind' Willie McTell. Weaver was born in Newton County, Georgia, in 1906 and was raised on a cotton farm near Porterdale. He later moved with his parents to Almon, a small community on the Atlanta side of Porterdale. His mother,  Savannah "Dip" Shepard, was a renowned guitarist in her own right and she encouraged him to sing and also taught him to play the guitar, beginning when he was ten years old. She also taught guitar legend Barbecue Bob Hicks and his brother Charley Hicks to play the instrument. His mothers musical interests were in gospel but, as in the case of the Hicks brothers, Curly interest lay in the blues. He showed extraordinary aptitude for the instrument and when he was nineteen years old he partnered up with harmonica player Eddie Mapp and moved to Atlanta. There he teamed up with his old boyhood friends Bob and Charley Hicks. The three guitarists, along with Mapp, played the streets around Atlanta's entertainment district, with its bars, restaurants, clubs, and theatres. Barbecue Bob was the first to record and he subsequently arranged for his brother and Curley Weaver to make their recording debuts. Weaver's successful debut led to more recordings, both solo and with Eddie Mapp and Barbecue Bob. It was also through the recording studio that Weaver met up with Buddy Moss, a 16-year-old harmonica player, and the two went on to work together for the next ten years.

It was during this period that Weaver also met up with Blind Willie McTell in Atlanta and the two immediately clicked, both personally and musically. The two went on to play and record together for 20 years or more, and became perhaps the most important and celebrated East Coast blues team. However as well as recording success, the first half of the 30's decade brought great personal tragedy for Weaver as well. Eddie Mapp was killed, his friend Barbecue Bob Hicks died in 1931 of pneumonia, Charley Hicks (Lincoln) was incarcerated in a mental institution and four years later Buddy Moss was sent to prison for murder. In addition the effects of the Depression began to erode the music market. Weaver continued to play around the Atlanta area and recorded again with McTell in the early 1950's, however his playing and mobility was gradually becoming affected by his failing eyesight. He moved back to be with relatives in Almon, Georgia and by 1959 he had completely lost sight in one eye and the sight in the other was fast deteriorating. He stopped performing at that time and he died in 1962 in Almon at the home of his half-brother. He was buried in a quiet rural churchyard in Almon, treasured  there but largely unappreciated elsewhere. Curley Weaver, "the Georgia Guitar Legend" was, rather unfairly, better known as Willie McTell's partner than as an artist in his own right.

    Some Cold, Rainy Day